Best Secured Credit Cards of 2017

Building credit takes time. Start with a secured card, use it wisely, and you're on your way up.

Here are the best secured credit cards:

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Rewards and upgrading

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

Bad credit or no bank account

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Low interest and fees

Take a simple quiz to find out

Not sure which card is best for you?

  • APR: 24.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide

See if you qualify for a better offer with Capital One:

With most secured cards, your deposit must be equal to your credit limit. But with the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you can get a limit of $200 for a deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your credit. If you can’t come up with your whole deposit upfront, you can pay it in installments before activating your card. If you make your first five payments on time, you may gain access to a higher credit limit.

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

  • APR: 23.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

  • New! We’ll monitor your Social Security Number. Get an alert if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites.* Activate for FREE.
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

The Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee rewards — 2% cash back on up to $1,000 worth of spending per quarter on restaurants and gas, 1% on all other spending — would be pretty decent on a regular card. For a secured credit card, they’re unheard of. After eight months, Discover automatically evaluates your account for possible upgrade to an unsecured card. And the annual fee is $0.

  • Purchase: 18.39%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 22.50%
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.39%
  • No credit check necessary
  • Low annual fee, no applications fees a highly competitive APR
  • Your credit limit is determined by the security deposit you provide

The bank doesn’t run a credit check on OpenSky® Secured Visa® applicants, making this an attainable option for people with severely damaged credit. You can make your deposit — minimum $200, maximum $3,000 — and pay your bills with a debit card, wire transfer, check or money order, making it one of the few secured cards that doesn’t require a traditional bank account.

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

  • Purchase: 12.50%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 18.00%
  • Cash Advance APR: 12.50%
  • Secured card rates well below the national average
  • Borrow against your DCU savings account
  • No Annual Fee*
  • No Fees or Higher Rates for Cash Advances and Balance Transfers
  • Works with Apple Pay®, Android Pay™, and Samsung Pay
  • Insurance, car rental, travel, and warranty benefits
  • Optional Overdraft Protection On Your DCU Checking
  • Buy online easily and safely with Visa Checkout
  • Embedded EMV chip to protect your card information

The ongoing APR is 12.50%. That’s roughly half the rate of many popular secured cards — and better than what you can get on many unsecured cards. The annual fee is $0, and there are no balance transfer or cash advance fees. As with most secured cards, you have to make a security deposit equal to your credit limit, but this one doesn’t put a cap on how much you can deposit, and therefore how high your limit can be.

NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.

Updated Jan. 27, 2017.

NerdWallet staff writers Virginia C. McGuire and Paul Soucy contributed to this article. Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ideclaire7.

To recap our selections.

NerdWallet's Best Secured Credit Cards of 2017

What Is a Secured Credit Card? How Is It Different From an Unsecured Card?

The Big Problem With Easy-to-Get Subprime Credit Cards

How to Make a Secured Card Work for You

Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.

Advertiser Disclosure: So how do we make money? We receive compensation from our partners when someone applies or gets approved for a financial product through our site. But, the results of our tools (like our credit card comparison tool) and editorial reviews are based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of product features — nothing else. Compensation may influence the products we review and write about, the order in which categories appear in “best of” articles, whether products appear on our site and where they’re placed. While we try to feature as many product offers on our site as we can maintain (1,200+ credit cards and financial products!), we recognize that our site does not feature every company or financial product available on the market.

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